7 Most Popular Brazilian Soap Operas & Where to Stream Them

7 Most Popular Brazilian Soap Operas & Where to Stream Them
Image credit: NBC, Prime Video, Apple TV+, TV Globo

It’s not all dancing.

Brazil is famous for many things: samba, never-ending carnival, football, perfect landscapes and, of course, its world-famous telenovelas.

The most intriguing storylines, complicated family issues, heartbreaking plot twists and non-stop drama – you can find it all in Brazilian soap operas.

Here we have seven most popular shows you absolutely need to watch to get that Brazilian vibe.

1. Avenida Brasil

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Where to stream: NBC

One of the most popular Brazilian telenovelas of recent years is Avenida Brasil. As usual, the central plot of the series follows a heartbreaking story.

This time, at the center of attention is a young woman, whose whole life as a child was ruined by an evil stepmother, so she was forced to move away from her own home.

Many years later she comes back under a new identity and wants to seek revenge for her troubled years. This show is extremely popular not only in Brazil, but was also sold to 140 countries and dubbed in 19 languages.

2. O Clone

Where to stream: Prime

The story of Jade and Lucas' love is now a legend, but over time, the way viewers perceived it changed. When the telenovela first aired, everyone was taken by the forbidden love plot and the way the main characters were forced to live without each other with those they didn't love.

Jade was married to Said, who seemed to be an abuser in the first episode. However, the audience later realized that he was actually a kind-hearted person trying to save his marriage at all costs.

There are a lot of subplots in the show, which most of the time overshadow the main one about the unsuccessful clone creation.

The mix of the two bright worlds of Morocco and Brazil together is a must see. But be prepared to yell at your TV a lot...

3. Roque Santeiro

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Where to stream: Apple TV Plus

Despite the fact that it is almost 40 years old, it is still the most watched show in the history of Brazilian television. It reached an audience of 60 million viewers which is a total record.

The series was set in a fictional city where a man was highly likely killed while defending it from thugs. Seventeen years later though, Roque Santeiro comes back alive, causing confusion in the city, as there were a lot of people who benefited from him being actually dead.

The genius of this telenovela is the humorous way it deals with serious topics like death, politics and even religious mysticism.

4. Senhora do Destino

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Where to stream: Apple TV Plus

If you think you know nothing about this telenovela, we are here to set you straight. Remember the popular meme of the math lady and her confused face? Well, we are happy to announce that the lady is none other than the show's villain, Maria de Nazaré Esteves Tedesco (who is also funny as hell).

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At the center of this soap opera is a poor woman Maria do Carmo Ferreira da Silva, a mother of five, who has her baby daughter kidnapped. After many years though, she rises to a better life and becomes wealthy and respected, but she never stops looking for her missing daughter.

The show was a huge success with the audiences, but caused a lot of controversy mainly because of the main character’s personality.

5. Páginas da vida

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Where to stream: Apple TV Plus

Another successful telenovela is Páginas da Vida, which was set mainly in Rio de Janeiro and partly in Amsterdam. The main storyline of it revolves around social prejudice against disabled people, especially those with Down syndrome.

At the beginning of the series, a young woman gives birth to twins and then dies suddenly. After that, her cold-hearted mother makes a decision to keep her grandson but reject his sister with Down syndrome.

Luckily, she is adopted by her kindhearted surgeon. But what’s there for her in the future?

6. Esperança

Where to stream: Roku

At the heart of this popular Brazilian soap opera is a tragic love story. The two Italian lovers face many difficulties on their way to a happy future, which now seems impossible.

The problem is that they come from rival families. But everything falls apart when he is forced to move to Brazil and she... is forced to marry a man she despises.

7. Laços de Família

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Where to stream: Apple TV Plus

The series focuses on the importance of family in many "no matter what" scenarios. The show tells the story of a middle-aged woman named Helena who is a single mother to young adults Camila and Fred. It seems that everyone loves Elena and is charmed by her personality.

But her life is not easy at all. A lot of painful things are thrown at her after she and her daughter fall in love with the same man.